Community Groups Bid for Share of Funding

This will be the fourth 'Your Voice, Your Choice' event that the High Sheriff for Gwent, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Gwent Police and the Community Foundation in Wales have run.

The event gives local groups who are involved in promoting and supporting community-safety, crime prevention, and youth diversions as well as tackling drugs and alcohol abuse, the opportunity to decide amongst themselves who should receive funding.

The event is funded through the Gwent High Sheriffs' Community Fund, which has received a significant contribution from commissioning monies held by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston.

High Sheriff Murray MacFarlane, said: "Many of our young people face significant difficulties in their lives which can quickly become problems for the whole community; drugs, vandalism etc. The annual Gwent High Sheriffs' 'Your Voice, Your Choice' event supports smaller, local charities working to make a positive impact on the lives of young people. During my year in office I have met and been much impressed by the many volunteers who give huge amounts of time and effort to help fit young people for the future. They deserve all the support we can give."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "I'm pleased that money from my Commissioning Fund is being made available to worthwhile causes in the community that help to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. In addition to the money that I've already made available to organisations, the Your Choice, Your Voice gives another opportunity for people to bid for funding. What is so unique about this event is that it's the organisations themselves that decide who should receive the money."

"I hope that following the 2014 'Your Voice, Your Choice' event, even more young people in Gwent will benefit from the good works done by several Gwent based charities."

In total, 20 organisations will be bidding to receive a share of the funding. Each group is allowed to ask for a maximum of £3,500 each. They will each have just two minutes to present their case to the other organisations and explain how they would use their share of the money.

The other organisations attending will score each bid in turn. At the end of the event, those with the highest overall scores will receive their funding (up to a maximum of £3,500) until all of the money has been allocated.

Liza Kellett, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation in Wales, said: "The Foundation is once again delighted to be supporting this community event. Participatory grant-making chimes with our core purpose of strengthening local communities through supporting grassroots initiatives which make a real impact on people's lives. By devolving grant decisions to community groups it furthers our commitment to open, transparent grant-making, enabling local people, who understand best the needs in their communities, to prioritise solutions to local issues. One of the most heartening things about Your Voice, Your Choice is the vibrancy, energy and inspiration with which the groups deliver their pitch. It gives people an alternative way to communicate their message, a different means with which to connect people who care with causes that matter in Gwent."

The Gwent High Sheriff's Community Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation in Wales, is made available each year as a result of the High Sheriff organising charitable events during their year of office.

For more information about previous 'Your Voice, Your Choice' events, please visit the Gwent High Sheriff's website www.ghscf.org.uk/fund-news